Aspiring to a better morning routine

Every morning I wake up at 5:30, meditate for 20 minutes, drink hot lemon water while writing five pages in my journal, and do half an hour of sun salutations. I assemble an acai bowl for breakfast, take a bath filled with lavender petals, and do my entire 10-step Korean skincare routine before getting ready for work.


My actual morning routine is more like this: Attempt to wake up at 6, hit snooze until 7:45, and pay Bar Method a $15 late-cancel fee because I was supposed to be at the studio doing my leg-lift warmup 15 minutes ago. When I’m finally truly awake, I remember my intention to make myself breakfast, then think through what’s in my kitchen and how little time I have now that I’ve overslept… and end up ordering delivery from Baba Cool instead. Then, I mindlessly file work emails until 9, when I start doing actual work until I realize I haven’t showered and there’s no way I can show up to my 11a Zoom call without at least washing my face. By the time I’ve done some abbreviated version of my skincare routine and slathered on enough Dr. Jart’s Cicapair to hide the fact that my skin is still inflamed from washing it, I’m 30 seconds late for my call and suddenly realizing that, oh yeah, I’m supposed to lead it.

To quote an early-aughts Geico commercial, “This is not awesome.” Why is it so hard to create and stick to a morning routine? I’ve spent my entire adult life trying to figure out how to give myself more ~*~peaceful~*~ time in the morning while ensuring that I eat breakfast, exercise, and shower before I start my workday. You’d think it would be easier during le pandemie, because my “commute” is basically just grabbing whichever ring light is closest and popping my laptop onto my beddesk, but somehow, the time I save by not taking the subway to the office seems to evaporate on a daily basis.

I don’t actually want a morning routine that looks like graf 1 above, but neither am I particularly enamored of my current chaos. So this week, I’m going to try to stick to a hybrid version that allows for more breathing room and less stress in the morning, but is attainable within the confines of an actual human life. Here’s what I’m thinking:

  • Wake up at 6:30 or 7, do a 3-5 minute meditation on Headspace, brush teeth, put on workout clothes
  • Go to barre class at 7 or 7:30, or work out at home
  • If barre, get breakfast on the way home (a reward!); if home workout, make breakfast at home
  • Read a magazine (neglected HBR, Economist, and New Yorker subscriptions are all good options) while I eat breakfast
  • Shower, do morning skincare routine, and put on an actual outfit before Zoomwork

That’s the whole thing. If I manage to be successful at this, I can add stuff on (maybe even meditating! who knows?!). I would love to become a person who wakes up at 6:30 every day but the pandemic seems to have killed my prior morning-person spirit and I’m not sure it’s coming back. I do know that I want to start inching toward something resembling a morning routine, though, so this seems like a reasonable place to start.

I’m going to cheat slightly by starting tomorrow, a holiday where I don’t have to be online at any particular hour and can go to a sightly later barre class. Wish me luck.

One thought on “Aspiring to a better morning routine

  1. I can so relate to this. I have been trying to concoct a morning routine for YEARS. My all-or-nothing thinking is what’s gotten in the way. I can’t *just* meditate. I have to meditate, work out, do morning pages AND write, read, eat breakfast … and apparently, if I can’t do ALL of those things, in the optimal order, my brain convinces me that I just shouldn’t do any of it. Sigh. I like that you’re starting with a basic goal, and once that’s established, plan to add in more things.


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